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Safe Winter Cycling

As the summer sadly draws to a close and the darker evenings draw in, if you are a regular cyclist, it is time to start thinking about riding safely and comfortably into the changing seasons. There are a few easy steps you can take to ensure you stay warm, dry and visible. Bikewise in Ickenham, a local, independent bike shop have everything you need and friendly staff to help you out with all your cycling needs. We are family and female friendly and have bikes and accessories for commuters, recreational riders and serious competitors.

Clothing

One of the most important things you can do when riding in winter is to make sure you have the correct winter clothing to keep you protected against the elements. A waterproof, windproof and breathable hi-visibility jacket is a must to protect you in all weather conditions and allow you to be seen by motorists. A decent pair of gloves is also essential and will make your cycle much more comfortable. If you are going to be riding in the rain it will be worth investing in some waterproof over-trousers and overshoes to protect your clothing and allow to arrive at your destination nice and dry. You can also get a hi-visibility helmet to add an extra level of visibility and you can attach a light too.

Check your bike

Before you ride in wet conditions, you need to make sure you check your bike thoroughly. A service at the beginning of the winter is a good idea to ensure you are safe to ride. Keep your bike clean by using non-caustic bike cleaner and lubricate your chain with wet weather oil.

Adapt your bike

You can make a few small changes to your bike to make it safer to ride in cold, wet or dark conditions. Lights are an absolute must, whether you have them to be seen or to enable you to see potholes, you must have a front and back light if you are riding at night. Adding mudguards will mean your clothing will stay clean and dry. Pedals with extra grip on them will mean you are less likely to slip. You can put winter tyres on that increase grip on or off road.

Bikewise have all the accessories you need for safe winter cycling and we have a mechanic on hand for service and repair work to keep you cycling no matter what the weather conditions. We want you to continue enjoying your cycling so don't be put off by cold and wet weather, come in to Bikewise and we will help you prepare for the changing seasons.

Bikewise, 61 Swakeleys Road, Ickenham, UB10 8DQ. 01895 675376 www.bikewisegb.com

Tesco gets green light for huge new store at Hillingdon Circus despite petitions

Tesco has won its long running battle to build a new supermarket in Hillingdon, as part of a scheme that will also include 125 homes and a hotel.

A plan to build a Tesco store, hotel and houses on the former Master Brewer site has been approved.

Borough councillors sitting on the Major Applications Planning Committee met at the Civic Centre in Uxbridge High Street last night (Wednesday, August 27) and voted in favour of developer Spenhill's application.

Two revised planning applications for the site in Freezeland Way, Hillingdon - one for a 3,543sq m Tesco and six-storey, 70 bedroom hotel and another for 125 homes - were sent to Hillingdon Council in March.

The plans were changed when the committee refused original applications in December last year (2013) on the grounds of the excessive height of the proposed hotel - seven-storeys at the time - and the impact of the development on traffic and road safety.

At the same planning meeting in December, councillors voted to refuse an application to build a Morrisons supermarket on the opposite side of Long Lane in Hillingdon.

The developer of the Morrisons site, Bride Hall, is yet to submit another application to the council.

Planning officer Adrien Waite said the reasons for refusal last time round had been resolved because the height of the hotel had been reduced, cumulative issues raised by going up against the Morrisons plan were no longer an issue and changes had been made to reduce the impact of the development on road safety and traffic. He recommended that councillors approve the scheme.

 But Ickenham Residents' Association (IRA) and Oak Farm Residents' Association (OFRA) had both submitted petitions against the scheme - not convinced by the changes made.

Jill Dalton, speaking on behalf of IRA, said: "We still have a number of concerns regarding pedestrian safety, the impact on traffic, the environmental impact and the retail impact on local shops."

The worries of the IRA included the effect of increased waiting times for pedestrians at crossings due to traffic light re-phasing, as well as the impact on traffic in Long Lane which runs into Ickenham.

"Air pollution at the Master Brewer site has levels as high as Heathrow," she added. "This will only make the pollution levels worse."

From OFRA, Vic Stoneham said he had lived in Hillingdon for over 40 years.

"Oak Farm estate is the closest housing area to the Tesco site. We are dubious of the traffic assessment that has been carried out because it doesn't reflect what we see everyday. It seems to miss out 20 - 30 minute queues," he argued.

But Anthony Taylor, who lives in Petworth Gardens in the Oak Farm Estate, said he would love to have a supermarket close to home to easily provide for his family.

"A couple of years ago my daughter and her children moved in with me and my wife in Hillingdon. We have gone from shopping once a week to shopping three or four times a week. We know other more elderly people whose children have moved back home and have bigger families to shop for, who would definitely benefit from a Tesco nearby, offering competitive prices and a good range of products.

"We would love to see Tesco bring a derelict site back to a useful site," he said.

Tesco promise that the store will bring 200 jobs to the area, with 30 per cent going to the long-term unemployed.

The development also includes a five hectare public green space and developers continue to work with Transport for London to finalise changes to the phasing of traffic lights in Hillingdon Circus, and to extend the U10 bus route to include a stop at Hillingdon station.

The committee - councillors Peter Curling, Manjit Khatra and Janet Duncan for Labour and Conservative John Hensley, Ian Edwards, Henry Higgins, John Morgan and Brian Stead - unanimously agreed to approve the application for the Tesco and hotel.

Although the plan for homes was approved by the majority of councillors, Labour's Janet Duncan and Manjit Khatra opposed on the grounds of air pollution in the area.

 

 

Friends pay tribute to tragic Vic

Friends of a Chelsea fan who tragically died in a motorcycle accident last week have paid tribute to a "fantastic bloke".

Vic Newman died after his motorbike was involved in a crash with three cars in Long Lane Ickenham on Monday last week.

Tributes to the 54-year-old Chelsea fan have been paid by friends and family, who say Vic "loved life".

"Vic Newman was a fantastic bloke, great father, great person, devoted Chelsea fan," said Darren Elekes, the son of Mr Newman's girlfriend.

"Nobody would have a bad word to say against him. He loved life, loved going away on holidays loved his girlfriend [my mum] and family very much.

"This man is going to be missed by so many people and was taken to soon.

"RIP VIC, going to miss you."

The niece of Vic's partner has also paid a touching tribute.

"Vic you truly are one in a million, you will be truly missed but never forgotten.

"Thank you for making my Aunty Marina’s life the happiest for the past 10 years.

"God bless you, all our love Faylee, Graham and Family."

Flowers and Chelsea FC scarves and a flag have been left at the scene of the accident, along with messages, flowers and cards.

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